When all else fails… talk to GOD
In life, says Manal Syriana, senior consultant at N4TC, if you want something done you do it yourself, whereas in the restaurant business, if you want something done, you talk to God. In her scenario, God is the decision-maker, the main voice that the service and support team listen to when things need doing
Growth and continuity in restaurants are down to the concept’s ability to listen to its clients and implement innovations and improvements in a timely manner. While the service team can give input on operations, customer feedback and suggestions for improvement, all good intentions will fail if the decision-makers are not invested in those ideas. Such suggestions are often met with resistance, since the integration requires commitment and trust in the end result that is not always tangible beforehand.
Establishing a successful set-up for communication and decision-making is key to achieving results. A successful setup should start with:
1) A clear vision and commitment from the decision-makers and managers on the floor about the core values and the planned outcome. Such clarity will set the stage for all decision-making.
2) Integration of values in the restaurant’s day-to-day operations, such as inwork processes and policies, and communication to all team members, including back-of-house employees and service employees.
3) The creation of layers of management and supervision to filter through information from the decision-makers to the service team.
4) Managing through committees to allow for realistic, timely and informed decisions about the operation.
1. Should be given regularly. Meetings and brainstorming sessions should be an integral part of the communication strategy, such as: a. Daily briefings b. Weekly departmental meetings c. Monthly gathering
The practice will allow management to be part of the rationale for the suggested outcome, thereby facilitating decision-making. 2. Do what you say. Integrity is a valuable asset that encourages people to listen, even when the ideas suggested are out of the box in which the concept is usually nestled, or when a sensitive subject is being discussed.
3. Support. Create a system that will allow decisions to be made in a pragmatic way by establishing policies and procedures at management level, from restaurant managers right the way up to the top of the chain.
4. Keep the message consistent. Consistency in communication conveys belief in the message and in the company’s values.
5. Support with data. Communication should be backed up with statistics and analysis of: (1) Customer data - as provided by the service team (2) Market/competition data – as provided by marketing efforts (3) Operation-related data – as provided by line managers and supervisors and, most importantly (4) Analysis of financial results
Ultimately, innovation and out-of-thebox thinking is a culture that should be integrated into the restaurant’s values and practiced by decision-makers before employees.